Stop Abuse, powered by Spectrum Puppets, was created in 1986 with the goal to prevent child sexual abuse by raising awareness through education, detection, and referral. Regina Marscheider, the Executive Director of Stop Abuse, gives Hometown Heroes an inside look into her musical marionette program. The show Simon Says…Just Tell, teaches children to recognize, prevent, and disclose sexual abuse. Teaching children these skills is as essential as teaching them to buckle their seatbelt and to look both ways before crossing the street.
The little green puppet, Simon, empowers children and encourages them to speak up and claim their body as their own. “This is my body, that is your body, leave my body alone” is a popular theme in the show Simon Says…Just Tell.
Through dialogue and song children will learn:
- That their body is their own and no one has the right to touch them in a way they don’t like.
- That secret touching can be confusing, making them feel uncomfortable and sad.
- That it is their right to say “NO” to any kind of touching or secretive behavior that makes them feel uncomfortable.
- To always question anyone who wants them to do something that makes him or her feel uncomfortable.
- To talk to a trusted adult if they have questions about the way they are being touched.
- To overcome fear, guilt and embarrassment and reach out and tell a trusted adult until they are heard.
- How to recognize inappropriate predatory behavior from an adult. (Excessive gift giving, secret games)
- How they can tell what is happening to them. (The character Lori writes her mother a letter, which can be easier than verbalizing.)
- To be safe and careful when using the internet.
- To never tell a stranger at the door or on the telephone that your parents are not home and that you are alone.
“Essential Safety Education. “Stop Abuse, Avada, 2012, http://stopabuse.com/education/. Accessed 5 Apr. 2019.
To see our visit with Regina, watch this Hometown Heroes segment! And to learn more about the program or how you could see the show, visit their website! https://stopabuse.com/